Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Giant squid news

Well, I've nearly let a whole season of giant squid news get by me. So here is some quick links about giant squid and a few other creatures of the deep, enjoy.

  • A giant squid that washed up in New Zealand in August has been confirmed as one of the largest ever found.

  • Greenpeace is fighting to stop bottom trawling, a technique that uses nets to scour the bottoms of the ocean, destroying everything else in its path. Among the many species endangered by bottom trawling, according to Greenpeace: Giant Squid.

  • There's some unusual behavior by squid (with pic) in the northwest. Imagine a beach covered in dead Humboldt squid.

  • And most importantly, the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University in New Haven has the opening of the exhibition "In Search of the Giant Squid." It's going to be at the museum until January and I'd recommend it to anyone interested in the giant squid. At the exhibition, I learned of another fascinating cephalapod: the Vampire Squid:
    William Beebe (1926) described V. infernalis as "a very small but terrible octopus, black as night with ivory white jaws and blood red eyes". Despite this horrific description, V. infernalis is a rather docile animal, and most often hangs motionless in the water column, with only slight movements of the fins for balance.

  • Not a cephalapod, but interesting nonetheless: scientists have managed to recreate an ancient sea spider, adding a link in the evolutionary chain. (with pic)

  • My girlfriend won this awesome poster of "Monsters of the Deep" recently, but the film (or show?) it advertises seems to have completely disappeared. According to the seller, "The film is so rare that it is not even listed in the Internet Movie Database, but my Library of Congress book shows it to be from 1932." Anyone know anything about this film? The poster of a giant manta ray is just too cool.


Prof. Hex said...

Nice poster! I've seen that on ebay several times-I wonder if the guy is sitting on a stack of them. I also wonder if the film had anything to do F.A Mitchell-Hedges and his book "Battles with Giant Fish" published the late twenties or early thirties. Mitchell hedges supposedly discovered one of the famous crystal skulls.

Brian said...

Thanks for the heads up on Mitchell-Hedges, I had never heard of him. He's like a real life pulp hero (well, except for the fabulations of course). There's some interesting essays here: http://www.pure-pop.net/Mitchell-Hedges.pdf and it quotes pretty liberally from his books. Sounds like he would be a fun read even now.
As for the poster, I hope he doesn't have a ton of them he's selling. My girlfriend didn't buy it for much, but still... The poster does seem to be on a very old, fragile paper.